I just spent 3 days at the Mars Society Desert Research Station a few miles outside of Hanksville, Utah. The landscape looked and felt out of this world, the location is definitely a great choice to host the station.
A few months ago Les Stroud (Survivorman) hired me to film a project with him on Mars. At first, I took him quite literally and flipped my lid, but shortly after realized what he meant.
So, out in the dry, arid desert of Utah lies the Mars Society Desert Research Station. This little compound is the training and experimental grounds for people and organizations that are determined to get humans to colonize Mars. Every two weeks a new crew of scientists, astronauts and sometimes students arrive to begin their simulation.
The HAB (large cylinder shaped building) is where the crew lives and spend the majority of their time. The smaller domes consist of the laboratory, and observatory. The crew does leave the safety of the buildings to go out on excursions but, in order to do so they have to put on space suits.
While I was there, the Latin American student team was finishing up their two week stay. We got to go out on an excursion with them and followed as they conducted soil research with the intention of learning how to grow food in the Martian soil. It was pretty surreal walking the terrain, following three astronauts in full gear. I was intrigued at the level of focus and intention the team expressed as they moved through the rugged terrain.
This experience made me think about the amount energy, money and time that is going into the exploration of space and the colonization of other planets. I have always been interested in the mystery of space and though I fancy the idea of orbiting the earth and looking back at our little blue ball dancing around the sun, I can't help but think of the way our species currently relates to our planet. If we focused half of that energy on caring for our planet and worked on the current issues we are faced with, we might be able to overcome our current obstacles.
It also reminded me of how determined we are as humans, how when we put our attention on something and focus that we can accomplish anything.
As I travel and experience new things I always make it a goal to learn more about myself and discover ways to improve. One thing I was reminded of when on this adventure was the power of focus and intention in our actions. I will be applying this reminder this year and with determination continue my mission of service, exploration and love.